Mind & Life
Peter Wayne - Ecology of Mind

Peter Wayne - Ecology of Mind

May 7, 2021

PeterWayne_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with clinical researcher Peter Wayne about his work on mind-body and movement-based interventions like tai chi. Their conversation covers many topics, including:

  • how a background in ecology informs his research;
  • embracing multiple causes of any outcome;
  • how to do non-reductionist science;
  • removing the hyphen from the mind-body system;
  • harnessing the wisdom of the body through contemplative practice;
  • the value of first-person narrative in research;
  • safety and trauma in the body;
  • the relationship between physical and emotional patterns;
  • how the concept of the subtle body relates to Western views;
  • the role of integrative medicine in dealing with climate change;
  • and bringing together multiple perspectives to investigate the mind & healing.

Full resources and show notes

Mingyur Rinpoche - Awareness, Compassion, and Wisdom

Mingyur Rinpoche - Awareness, Compassion, and Wisdom

April 22, 2021

MingyurRinpoche_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with Tibetan Buddhist teacher Mingyur Rinpoche about how contemplative practice can lead us to awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Their conversation covers many topics, including:

  • his involvement in early contemplative research;
  • translating concepts between Buddhism and science;
  • what Buddhists mean by "emptiness";
  • non-conceptual meditation, open presence and foundational awareness;
  • the three kinds of self, and which one is like shaving foam;
  • the problem of othering;
  • making friends with panic and difficult emotions;
  • the experience of a "wandering" retreat;
  • and building trust through contemplative practice.

Full show notes and resources

 

Buju Dasgupta - Social Context & Implicit Bias

Buju Dasgupta - Social Context & Implicit Bias

April 9, 2021

BujuDasgupta_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with social psychologist Buju Dasgupta about her work on implicit bias, and the role of social context in shaping the mind. Their conversation covers many topics, including:

  • her path to merging science and social justice;
  • the crucial role of social context in implicit bias;
  • the malleability of implicit bias & the "wallpaper" of the mind;
  • how scientists measure unconscious processes (like implicit bias);
  • changing bias against women and underrepresented groups in STEM education;
  • links from this work into contemplative science;
  • increasing cross-disciplinary collaboration to advance research around equity;
  • the subtle ways we can change implicit bias by changing the wallpaper of our lives;
  • and turning research into social impact.

Full show notes and resources

 

Larry Barsalou - Habits of Mind

Larry Barsalou - Habits of Mind

March 26, 2021

Larry_Barsalou_sq91me6.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with cognitive psychologist Larry Barsalou about his work on grounded cognition, concepts, stress, and habits. Their conversation covers many topics, including:

  • a historical look at how psychology has viewed and studied the mind;
  • simulation and prediction in the brain;
  • what a concept is, and benefits and harms they can bring;
  • stereotypes, implicit bias, and how we might change them;
  • the "situated action" cycle that drives our behavior;
  • understanding habits, and the role of mindfulness in breaking unhealthy habits;
  • how humans form self-concepts, and how meditation can help us move beyond them;
  • the importance of context (situatedness) in cognition, and how to study it scientifically;
  • and how he got interested in contemplative science.

Full show notes and resources

Sona Dimidjian - Bringing Relationship into Research

Sona Dimidjian - Bringing Relationship into Research

March 12, 2021

In this episode, Wendy speaks with clinical psychologist and contemplative researcher Sona Dimidjian. Sona's career has focused on using contemplative practices to improve mental health, with a focus on systems of inequality. Their conversation covers many topics, including:

  • her path to contemplative practice and research;
  • using collaborative teams in science to reduce bias;
  • how she applies mindfulness to help with postpartum depression;
  • working with young women around stereotypes about appearance;
  • embodied practices delivered through peer instruction;
  • community-engaged participatory research, working "with" and not "for";
  • creating digital platforms for more equitable dissemination of contemplative programs;
  • and how she brings a lens of anti-racism to her research and teaching.

Full show notes and resources

John Dunne - At the Crossroads of Buddhism and Science

John Dunne - At the Crossroads of Buddhism and Science

February 26, 2021

In this episode, Wendy speaks with Buddhist scholar John Dunne. John has interfaced with contemplative scientists for over two decades to help advance rigorous research on meditation by incorporating a nuanced Buddhist perspective. They touch on many topics, including:

  • his path to integrating Buddhism and science, and the early days of contemplative research;
  • defining "meditation" for research purposes;
  • focused attention vs. open monitoring meditation;
  • a deep dive into meta-awareness;
  • subject/object duality and whether anything really exists;
  • the different ways we experience the sense of self;
  • hallucinogens, ego dissolution, and non-dual practices;
  • decentering and dereification;
  • and where he thinks the field should go next.

Full show notes and resources

Eric Garland - Working with Addiction & Pain

Eric Garland - Working with Addiction & Pain

February 12, 2021

In this episode, Wendy speaks with clinical researcher and psychotherapist Eric Garland. Eric has spent his career developing effective ways to use mindfulness and other contemplative approaches for problems like addiction and chronic pain. Their conversation covers many topics, including:

  • how early mystical experiences led him to a contemplative path;
  • the power of meditation to heal and restore well-being;
  • self-transcendence and non-dual states of consciousness;
  • the features of his intervention, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), and its application for addiction and chronic pain;
  • how reappraisal can help in difficult situations;
  • the role of savoring and reconnecting with natural rewards;
  • deconstructing pain;
  • a large clinical trial showing how effective MORE is, and how it might work;
  • and the biggest lesson he's learned from his work so far.

Full show notes and resources

Anne Klein - The Wisdom of the Body

Anne Klein - The Wisdom of the Body

January 29, 2021

In this episode, Wendy speaks with Buddhist scholar and teacher Anne Klein. They speak about the role of the body in practice and transformation, and touch on many topics, including:

  • her interest in Buddhism as a lens on the mind;
  • the role of the body in contemplative practice;
  • the dangers of not being embodied;
  • microphenomenology;
  • Eastern conceptions of the subtle/energy body;
  • the construction of self and other;
  • how the body can help us break out of rigid self-concepts;
  • the power of the imagination;
  • why we think things will always stay the same;
  • and how studying the feminine sheds light on interdependence.

Full show notes and resources

Lisa Feldman Barrett - Your Emotions Aren’t What You Think

Lisa Feldman Barrett - Your Emotions Aren’t What You Think

January 15, 2021

We launch our second season featuring a conversation with psychologist, neuroscientist, and emotion researcher Lisa Feldman Barrett. She and Wendy discuss a broad range of topics about the mind, including:

  • her unexpected path into studying emotions;
  • how our brains construct and predict our reality;
  • the brain's essential role in regulating the body;
  • emotions as interpretations of our bodily state;
  • how our past shapes and filters our present experience;
  • the difference between affective feelings (mood) and emotions;
  • our capacity to influence our own emotions;
  • deconstructing our experience through mindfulness;
  • how to improve our emotional lives;
  • connections with Buddhist theories of mind;
  • implications for our understanding of the self;
  • how we regulate not only our own, but others' nervous systems;
  • and how stress and modernity might lead to clinging to entrenched views.

Full show notes and resources

Jack Kornfield - Wisdom For Our Times

Jack Kornfield - Wisdom For Our Times

December 9, 2020

JackKornfield_sq.jpgAs 2020 draws to a close, Wendy speaks with Buddhist teacher, author, and psychologist Jack Kornfield in a special episode. Their conversation covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • how he's interpreting our current moment, and what's needed most;
  • his path into Buddhism & psychology, reflecting on family and coming of age in the 1960s;
  • the value of going on a meditation retreat;
  • links between Buddhism and psychology in terms of healing and self;
  • the problem of spiritual bypassing;
  • how to work with difficulties through allowing and gratitude;
  • the role of Buddhist ideas in activism and social justice work;
  • and the most important thing researchers can measure as an outcome of meditation practice.

Full show notes and resources

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